Punjab cabinet reshuffle in trouble after MLAs oppose inclusion of 'tainted' MLA
Chandigarh: Cabinet formation in Punjab ran into troubled waters Sunday, just hours before the oath ceremony scheduled at 4.30 pm, after six MLAs wrote to state Congress chief Navjot Sidhu to oppose the "proposed inclusion of tainted Rana Gurjeet Singh" in new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi's government.
The MLAs pointed out that Kapurthala MLA Gurjeet Singh had been dropped from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's cabinet in January 2018 over an infamous sand mining case involving him and his family which also led to a loss of Rs 25 crore to the state, according to an NDTV report.
They also pointed out that the proposed cabinet names from the Doaba region were Jat Sikhs and OBC Sikhs, which was 'amusing as the region had nearly 40 per cent Dalit population.
"Therefore, we all request you to immediately drop Rana Gurjeet Singh from the proposed cabinet expansion and instead include a clean Dalit face in view of the upcoming election," the MLAs wrote.
The protests over the inclusion of Gurjeet Singh has led to further deliberations in the Congress party. Opposition parties, AAP and Akali Dal have criticised the Congress over reports of the party retaining or including ministers with tainted tenures.